- Unity 5: free for up to $100,000 revenue / year, no royalties. Deploys to Mac, Windows, Linux, IOS, Android, Blackberry, Tizen, PS3, PS4, PSVITA, XBOX 360, XBOX One, Web Player, WebGL, GearVR, Oculus Rift, Samsung Smart TV, Windows Phone 8 and Wii U.
- Unreal Engine 4: free, 5% royalties after $12,000/year. Deploys to Windows, XBOX One, OpenGL (for Linux, Mac, PS4, IOS, Android Ouya) and WebGL.
There’s some talk about whether UE4 or Unity5 provides the same visuals but frankly that’s the remit of the teams who can produce AAA (Triple A; link) quality assets. If you can afford them, then you’ve got a decision to make.
Jeff LaMarche on the MartianCraft blog describes how his team have switched their primary game engine from Unity to Unreal. But it’s his project, his team; I do think it’s worth remembering that you can change. I’ve been working with the game dev and animation team in the Image Centre in South West College because they’re able to work with both toolsets. I recommend if you have a novel gaming or “interactive experience” project, get in touch with them.